Sci-Fi Storm

MileHiCon 41, October 23-25, 2009

by on Oct.20, 2009, under Conventions

Emily Epstein writes “The forty-first MileHiCon, the Rocky Mountain Region’s largest literary science fiction convention, will be October 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center-Denver. Run entirely by volunteers, MileHiCon will feature more than 80 authors and speakers, programming on every aspect of the SF and fantasy genres, the largest SF/fantasy art show in the region, round-the-clock gaming, a room full of dealers of SF-, fantasy-, and horror-related materials, and a masquerade (costume contest). The convention will also include video and anime rooms, as well as the Critter Crunch-the first robotic combat competition, from which all others came.” Read More for more info.

“MileHiCon has been run by local SF fans since its beginning in 1969. The convention, which celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2008, has approximately 1,000 attendees, and is still run and staffed entirely by volunteers. Its purpose is to further interest in reading and writing SF and related genres, although it has long since branched out to include television, film, anime, and gaming.

This year’s guests of honor are authors Barbara Hambly and Nancy Kress, artist John Picacio, and musician Marc Gunn. Author Brandon Sanderson is toastmaster. Hambly is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter, best known for her fantasy and vampire novels. She has also written novels set in the Star Wars and Star Trek universes, a novelization of the television series Beauty and the Beast, and historical fiction. Kress, who started writing science fiction in 1976, has written twenty-three books, including three nonfiction books on writing. Since winning the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1991 for her novella, Beggars in Spain, she has received numerous other awards for her work. Her novella, The Erdmann Nexus, has won 2009 Hugo award. Sanderson, since the 2005 publication of his first novel, Elantris, has published the Mistborn Trilogy, Warbreaker, and the juvenile series Alcatraz. He has recently been asked to complete the novel A Memory of Light, the twelfth and final title in the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. In addition to the guests of honor, MileHiCon will be attended by other SF, fantasy, and horror authors, including Connie Willis, Carrie Vaughn, Ed Bryant, and Mario Acevedo. They will give readings of work in progress and participate in programs on various aspects of writing and publishing. They and other special guests will also give presentations and participate in panels on various topics, including science, literature, and media.

John Picacio is an acclaimed illustrator whose illustrations and book covers have won numerous awards in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Some of his work will be displayed in the art show, as will the work of other artists from all over the United States. Many of the artists will be at the Convention, and will participate in panels, give demonstrations, and lead tours of the art show throughout the weekend. Most of the works on display will be available for sale at the art auction on Sunday.

Marc Gunn, formerly of the award-winning Brobdingnagian Bards, is a musician and songwriter from Austin, Texas, who performs traditional Celtic and American folk music, as well as original folk songs with science fiction and fantasy themes, commonly known as filk music. He will perform in a special musical event on Friday evening, which will also feature Odd Austin, the parody singer/songwriter from Longmont. Other musical programming will include Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog and Name That Sci-Fi Tune. The dance troupe Serpent Moon a MileHiCon favorite, will be returning for a fourth year to perform and to teach an interstellar bellydancing workshop.

The MileHiCon annual literacy auction of SF-, fantasy-, and horror-related materials, which benefits a local literacy program, will be held on Saturday night, while the masquerade judges deliberate. This year’s literacy auction will include an array of signed books and advance reading copies, including at least one that won’t be published until several weeks after the event, plus jewelry, works of art, and more.

A special programming track of activities and programs is designed for, but not restricted to, younger attendees. The theme for MileHiCon’s children’s programming this year is ‘Superhero Island.’ Also, Mischief Managed Entertainment will once again present its popular “Tales From Avistrum” in tandem with MileHiCon. This event requires separate registration. The top floor of the Hyatt Regency will be transformed into the wizarding school called ‘Avistrum Academy’ where students help solve a mystery, fight villains, and participate in The Sorting Ceremony, Start of Term Feast, the Quidditch Cup Tournament and a full schedule of classes, including Potions, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration. All classes will include a craft project that students can take home.

All MileHiCon activities will be at The Hyatt Regency Tech Center-Denver, located at 7800 E. Tufts Ave., Denver, CO 80237. For more information, see the convention website:

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